This is the official website of the Palgue Bunkai book that decodes the self-defence syllabus contained in the Korean karate Palgue series of katas.

The book can be purchased from here as either a printed book or Kindle download.

An online version of the book can be viewed at Palgue-Bunkai.html.

A sister book called "Heian Honto" analyses bunkai for the Heian kata series in a similar way. The text for the book can be viewed at Heian-Honto.html.

Club Variations

Our club's style of Korean karate was imported to the UK by American military personnel who had served in Korea.

Korean karate was imported into the US and the West via other similar routes.

While a key consideration of kata is that it should be possible to hand it down from person-to-person-to-person, evidence shows that this hasn't always been successful.

For example, looking at YouTube there are number of variations of the first kata, Palgue Il Jang.

You would have thought that being the first kata, this is likely to be the simplest and therefore most easy to copy. It seems not.

In our club's execution of Palgue Il Jang there are six side blocks and no middle area blocks (as demonstrated in the YouTube video

Other clubs seem to change some or all of these side blocks into middle area blocks.

The video at shows the two initial side blocks being replaced by middle area blocks and the rest left as side blocks.

The video at shows side blocks 1, 2, 5 and 6 being replaced by middle area blocks.

The video at has side blocks 1 and 2, but middle area blocks in place of side blocks 3, 4, 5 and 6.

And the video at shows all the side blocks replaced by middle area blocks.


Iain Abernethy. Bunkai-Jutsu: The Practical Application of Karate Kata. Kindle Edition.
Funakoshi, Gichin (translated by Harumi Suzuki-Johnston). Karate Dō Kyōhan: Master Text for the Way of the Empty-Hand. San Diego, CA: Neptune Publications, 2012.
Funakoshi, Gichin, and Genwa Nakasone. The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate: The Spiritual Legacy of the Master. Kodansha USA, 2012.